For anyone relatively new to the area of knitting, knitting yarn types can often be a source of confusion. Weights of the yarn are talked about when purchasing yarn as well as when discussing the size … both differently. Some people talk about skeins while other people talk about balls or rolls or spools. All of this can easily lead to confusion when it comes to knitting yarns and which yarn does what. This article is meant to be a quick reference source and summary – please leave a comment if you have any tips or additions that would be helpful too!
Lace Knitting Yarn
Lace Knitting Yarn is the lightest weight knitting yarn available. Lace yarn can be difficult to work with and it will be very important that you use the same size needles that are specified in your pattern if you want to get the proper results. The needles may seem large but this is generally to create the lace effect in your finished product.
Baby, Finger, Sock or Super Fine Weight Knitting Yarn
The Super Fine Knitting Yarn is great for lace work as well. In addition, it is a very common yarn for things like socks, baby items and even some other more intimate wear should you be inclined to add that to your personal knitting collection.
Sport, Baby, Double Knitting or Fine weight Knitting Yarn
Fine knitting yarn is very popular for lighter clothes generally worn indoors as well as many decorative and ornamental knitted items. The knitted products may be “stretchy” but not to the extent that you would want for heavier clothes that may be layered or worn in rough outdoor weather.
Worsted or Light Weight Knitting Yarn
The light knitting yarns are among the most common and most popular yarns in use … especially among people learning how to knit. Light knitting yarns generally have great tensile strength meaning they will not break if you pull them too hard making it great for people who are just learning.
Medium Weight Knitting Yarn (Including the Aran Yarn common in some parts of the world)
Medium Weight knitting yarn is very popular for many hats, caps, mittens and other knitted products that require both a certain level of protection while remaining stretchable, soft and relatively comfortable when in use.
Rug, Chunky, Craft or Bulky Weight Knitting Yarn
Bulky weight knitting yarn is one of the most common yarns used for large sweaters, heavy scarves, ascots and shawls as well as a lot of other items. It’s large size makes it much easier for many people to work with and it can still be beautifully crafted into some amazing finished products.
Roving, Super Chunky or Super Bulky Weight Knitting Yarn
The Super Chunky weight knitting yarn is a bit large and cumbersome for some people to work with. Apart from that, it does make some really beautiful items like throw-rugs, heavier capes and some really nice sweaters, and the bulkier the yarn, the less stitches you need to do to complete a project.
I hope this has been helpful, please leave a comment if you have any other advice, tips or questions about knitting yarn!